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Thursday, September 25, 2003

Love, Google Style

Rumors are flying that Google will acquire Friendster, the fast-growing "online dating service with a difference." Friendster is maybe a little more like real life, at least to some people, offering a way to network one's way into social activities which may or may not include dating.

Friendster CEO Jonathan Abrams has been a minor celebrity of late, with his company getting the kind of attention in the mainstream press that he could only dream of with his previous venture, HotLinks, an online bookmarking service that was bankrolled by CMGI (it eventually petered out for lack of profitability in spite of late efforts at moving into business services).

With an idea like this, and now, venture capital friends like Tim Koogle and other prominent players, it seems that Abrams' new venture can't miss. It's an eon ago now since the days of CMGI and unprofitable ventures like HotLinks. When I talked with him back then, Abrams spoke about how the investors' money got spent in the initial hurry to popularize and develop the product. In addition to hiring staff and buying furniture, Abrams enthused about running out and buying a retro 1980's video game, Galaga, for the office (one I confess to having had a weakness for myself). A Toronto boy who plays Galaga? He can't be all bad.

Now, we wait and wonder if Google will have to squeeze in another addition to their game room. Remember, guys, Galaga, not Galaxian.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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